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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Defense’

Pentagon Now Sees Big Data As “National Security Threat”

August 13, 2013 Comments off

The data divers at the Defense Department know better than most how to how to track down someone just by looking at his phone records. Now they want to know if America’s enemies could cause a fiscal meltdown or a massive cyber attack by combing through Netflix queues, Uber accounts, and Twitter feeds.

The doomsday thinkers over at DARPA are looking for researchers to “investigate the national security threat posed by public data available either for purchase or through open sources.” The question is, could a determined data-miner use only publicly available information–culled from Web pages and social media or from a consumer data broker–to cause “nation-state type effects.” Forget identify theft. DARPA appears to be talking about Read more…

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Next Up for Big Brother: Recording and Transcribing Public Conversations

March 6, 2013 1 comment

allgov.com

Matt Lease, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, is working on ways to literally record all human conversations no matter where they take place. But his research is being funded by the Department of Defense, raising the question of how such a technology might be used in the hands of the government.

 

Lease’s plan is to utilize crowdsourcing, voice recognition software and everyday devices like smartphones to gather human speech, whether in a business meeting or on the street, and store it somewhere so people could access what they said anytime.

 

He told Wired’s Danger Room that he saw the work as both a “need and opportunity to really make conversational speech more accessible, more part of our permanent record instead of being so ephemeral, and really trying to imagine what this world would look like if we really could capture all these conversations and make use of them effectively going forward.”

 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) liked Lease’s idea so much it gave him a $300,000 grant to support his efforts.

 

If successful, this new system could raise “some thorny legal and social questions about privacy,” wrote Robert Beckhusen at Wired.

 

One example cited by Lease involves “respecting the privacy rights of multiple people involved,” and how to gain permission of everyone talking before capturing and storing a conversation. In the hands of spy agencies, this is not expected to be an issue.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

EMP attack on power grid could take down DOD systems, experts warn

September 13, 2012 1 comment

gcn.com

Defense systems that depend on the commercial electric grid are vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attacks and solar storms that could seriously damage the nation’s infrastructure, experts from the Homeland Security and Defense departments told a House Homeland Security subcommittee.

The likelihood and the effects of such an event have been the subject of debate, and legislation that would require defenses against them is stalled in the House.

Major military weapons systems and nuclear assets are hardened against EMP events, but “DOD is heavily dependent on the commercial electric grid,” Michael Aimone, director of DOD Business Enterprise Integration, told the subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who testified as a witness at the Sept. 12 hearing, said Russia and several other countries are developing an offensive EMP capability, but there is little protection against such attacks on the commercial grid. He called for installing hardware protection for the most critical elements.

”The major vulnerability we have right now is damage to our major transformers,” which could put parts of the Read more…

Minority Report: Fiction Has Become Reality

September 5, 2012 Comments off

canadafreepress

“The Internet is watching us now. If they want to. They can see what sites you visit. In the future, television will be watching us, and customizing itself to what it knows about us. The thrilling thing is, that will make us feel we’re part of the medium. The scary thing is, we’ll lose our right to privacy. An ad will appear in the air around us, talking directly to us.”—Steven Spielberg

It was a mere ten years ago that Steven Spielberg’s action film Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, offered movie audiences a special effect-laden techno-vision of a futuristic world in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful. And if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will bring you under control.

The year is 2054. The place is Washington, DC. Working in a city in which there has been no murder committed in six years—due in large part to his efforts combining widespread surveillance with behavior prediction technologies—John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), Chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in Washington, DC, uses precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage—that is, to prevent crimes before they happen. Unfortunately for Anderton, the technology, which proves to be fallible, identifies him as the next would-be criminal, and he flees. In the ensuing chase, Anderton finds himself not only attempting to prove his innocence but forced to take drastic measures in order to avoid capture in a surveillance state that uses biometric data and sophisticated computer networks to track its citizens.

Seemingly taking its cue from science fiction, technology has moved so Read more…

DoD Confirms Russian Troops To Train On U.S. Soil

April 27, 2012 Comments off

prisonplanet.com

The Department of Defense has confirmed foreign media reports that Russian troops are set to target terrorists on Americans soil as part of an unprecedented joint drill with the United States which will take place in Colorado next month.

DoD Confirms Russian Troops To Train On U.S. Soil Russian airborne troops russi armed forces 001

As we reported yesterday, Airborne troops from Russia are set to take part in drills focused around targeting terrorists at Fort Carson between May 24 and May 31. The soldiers will also be mingling with the local community, attending a baseball game in Colorado Springs during their stay.

Although it marks the first time Russian troops will train on U.S. soil, soldiers from a plethora of different nations have been involved in similar drills for well over a decade.

“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have Read more…

Pentagon confirms plan to create new spy agency

April 25, 2012 Comments off

foxnews.com

panetta_hearing_030712.jpg

March 7, 2012: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday that it is carving out a brand new spy agency expected to include several hundred officers focused on intelligence gathering around the world.

At a time of budget cutbacks, particularly in the military, it’s unclear how the Defense Department has been able to move around the money to afford a new agency. The Pentagon wouldn’t get into specifics saying only that the so-called “Defense Clandestine Service” wouldn’t involve “significant new resource requirements.”

The service would be an offshoot of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Officers drawn from that agency would be sent to beef up U.S. intelligence teams in areas that are now receiving more attention. They include Africa, where Al Qaeda is increasingly active, as well as parts of Asia, where the North Korean missile threat and Chinese military expansion are causing increasing U.S. concern.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby called the Read more…

Will Cuts Cripple Military or Help in Broader Mission?

February 29, 2012 Comments off

cbn.com

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. shows a graph on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, during the committee's hearing on the Defense Department's fiscal 2013 budget.

WASHINGTON — Washington has a spending problem, but now that spending problem has the White House eyeing the military for massive cuts.

Many critics worry those cuts could seriously hurt America’s national defense.

For decades, no other country could rival the supremacy of America’s armed forces – its people, weapons, technology, or equipment.

But some military analysts believe President Obama and his chief military advisers are on a course to gut America’s defense, while other countries, like China and Russia, ramp up their next-generation military arsenals.

“Secretary Panetta’s magic bullet, that he can cut away all these dollars and capabilities from the U.S. military and keep it as strong as it is today, are really just words on a memo flying around the Pentagon,” Mackenzie Eaglen, research fellow for national security at the American Enterprise Institute, said.

Eaglen believes the president’s proposed $525 billion defense budget will Read more…